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Globalization is not a natural, evolutionary, or inevitable phenomenon, as is often argued. Globalization is a political process that has been forced on the weak by the powerful. Globalization in not the cross-cultural interaction of diverse societies. It is the imposition of a particular culture on all others. Nor is globalization the search for ecological balance on a planetary scale. It is the predation of one class, one race, and often one gender of a single specie on all others. ‘Global’ in the dominant discourse is the political space in which the dominant local seeks control, freeing itself from local, regional, and global sources of accountability arising from the imperatives of ecological sustainability and social justice. ‘Global’ in this sense does not represent the universal human interest; it represents a particular local and parochial interest and culture that has been globalized through its reach and control, irresponsibility, and lack of reciprocity.

Globalization has come in three waves. The first wave was the colonization of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia by European powers over the course of 1, 500 years. The second wave was the imposition of the West’s idea of ‘development’ on non-Western cultures in the postcolonial era of the past five decades. The third wave of globalization was unleashed approximately five years ago as the era of ‘free trade,’ which for some commentators implies an end to history, but for us in the Third World is a repeat of history through recolonization. Each wave of globalization has served Western interests, and each wave has created deeper colonization of other cultures and of the planet’s life.


Vandana Shiva. “Ecological Balance in an Era of Globalization.” (2000). The Globalization Reader, Fourth Edition. 2012.

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